tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN August 17, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT
that only existed ten or 15 years. that certainly makes mincemeat of a lot of brick and mortar jobs. .. >> i think there are two things going on in economy and one is essentially a business cycle although an extended one. i mean we have spent years overspending. consumers are taking on debt more and more, and what we are seeing is kind of a hangover now
from that period. the fallout from financial crises is, big ones, is almost always very slow, and recover usually does take a number of years. so i mean, part of what is happening today is kind of cyclical, and the problems will mitigate and go away once consumers d. leverage and can spend again, but that is a very long process and it will be all the longer if government hinders rather than helps. but you are right, the other thing that is going on that i have tried to describe in this talk is much more than business cycles. it is an acceleration of the middle-class driven by technology and offshoring. that may slow down again a little bit, once we come out of this period for a time, but it is certainly going to continue and that is why i think -- for
people falling out of the middle-class how we can build a broad and sustainable middle-class country again because the one we have is falling apart. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> thank you to don for a great talk. thank you for being here. copies of suband seven -- "pinched" are at the back of the store. thanks and have a great evening. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
the july 20 u.n. declaration of famine in the two region of somalia would not -- truly reflects the dire conditions of the people in somalia. it is based on nutrition and mortality surveys. day there must have been supervised by the cdc and on the basis of that we estimate in the last 90 days, 29,000 somali children have died. this is nearly 4% of the children in southern somalia. our fear and the fear of the international community and the governments in the horn of africa is that the famine conditions in those two regions of somalia will spread to encompass the entire eight regions of southern somalia.
the next rains are september and october and it even if they are good, we could bear witness to another way -- wave of mortality due to waterborne diseases. >> watch more what's more from the senate hearing live at the c-span video library. >> last year massachusetts state senator scott brown was elected to fill the remaining term of the late u.s. senator ted kennedy. senator brown talked about his political career at the ronald reagan presidential library in simi valley california. this is 40 minutes. [applause] >> before i get started i just want to say i had an opportunity to go-round and try to meet everybody and say hello, and i know you talk about the weather here. no offense. [laughter] i have snow that is about as high as the flags over here, so
and they did get a chance to go into her this amazing facility and be part of history. it is such a wonderful opportunity for not just young people but every person from every walk of life and i'm so honored to be here. i want to thank you all for the very very warm welcome and john i appreciate the kind introduction and a chance to visit the ronald reagan presidential library. you know this is my first time here and what an honor it is for me to really meet a living legend, obviously nancy reagan herself and it is wonderful to be with you, maam. thank you. [applause] it is a tremendous thrill forming to be here and it was great to meet so many of you at the book signing. i tried to meet all of you and get pictures and learn about you and your families and he said such nice things. i just hope that the reviewers are just as charitable. and, as you may assume there is
a lot of treasure, big pressure on a first-time author especially when you are out there talking about your life story. now i haven't felt so exposed since i appeared in cosmopolitan mega-zine in 1982. [laughter] now, it is just -- i guess you can imagine also that you do not see too many massachusetts republicans coming out this way. [applause] so in this year and month of the ronald reagan centennial i am proud to note of the connections between our 40th president in the base date. just for starters mrs. reagan and i were talking out in the hall and she is a distinguished graduate of a fine massachusetts school, smith college in northampton. i've been there many times. you are right, it is a wonderful school and then there is a portrait of the great man that president reagan gave a place of honor in the cabinet room.
it is the former massachusetts governor, calvin coolidge, and i will wager that the magnificent air force one that i saw and any of you have seen out in the area that is just as big as i could tell. i have never seen such a large museum space has set down more than a few times at logan airport and hampton air force base because as a kennedy as you know ronald reagan carried my state. and you also know that no other republican has won massachusetts in the last 50 years. and the gipper did it twice. [applause] when i think the ronald reagan i think of someone who was larger than life, a powerful figure who was proud to be an american. i did my small part. yeah, you can clap on that. it is true. it is true and i like you did my part in supporting him and in the working-class neighborhood
where i lived that put me in a majority. to this day in american politics, we speak of reagan republicans and reagan democrats, and that is the legacy of the man who respected everyone and spoke to everyone. now a lot of old political assumptions fell away in his time because his convictions were so clear and his integrity was so obvious. people of every background, even many who had never considered voting for a republican sized up ronald reagan and five do you know what? this is my kind of guy. he understands the country. he wants everyone to have a chance and he knows that in this world, the united states of america is a force for good. the american people reagan said are hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent and fair. he was all of these things himself and everyone could see that. we can all think of leaders who
wrote -- throughout history they came up a little short in the qualities of goodness and somehow when we remember this great man, we think of his goodness. he was engaged in the biggest events of his time, the kindness and courtesy were never ever beneath him. it is just the way he carried himself with that confident gentlemanly manner. he was all class and in hollywood you can't even fake that. sometimes the best tributes come from opponents because the other ones as you well know that are looking for weaknesses, and it was a notable adversary who once had a president reagan, a largest of spirit infused his presidency. ronald reagan was one of those rare presidents who lifted our vision and enlarged our very conception of this nation and its mission on earth. his time will long glow in history and memory.
that was pretty high praise coming as it did from edward m. kennedy and while nobody could ever call ted a reagan democrat -- [laughter] he certainly knew the type and he knew that they don't like either party taking their votes for granted. the reagan democrats, many of you know, are still a mighty force in my state and definitely across this country. otherwise, i would not be here today as a proud successor of the late senator kennedy. so, i guess as you know there was a little bit of luck working for me last year too although when i got into the senate race i am sure he didn't look like i was a guy about to catch any breaks, as you well know and after the passing of senator kennedy, most people thought that the special election would be decided in the democratic riemer e., simple as that. who wanted to be the sadsack republican who was going to take the fall in the general election? it was me. [laughter]
[applause] well, i will tell you what, i knew what i wanted. i wanted to be the republican nominee and not just to prove that i could lose by a little instead of a lot. [laughter] and i remember talking to some political pros about getting into the race, and they were sure i couldn't make it. but they did see one upside. by getting my name out there apparently and raising my statewide profile, maybe, just maybe i could position myself for a run at state treasurer or state auditor or something like that down the road. and even after he managed to get the republican nomination, i heard the same thing from commentators. with certain defeat awaiting me i must trying to set myself up apparently for some type of consolation prize later on. this is the way it is, massachusetts. i never bought into that type of
thinking. i sensed opportunity and a chance for change in on the other side, i just sensed overconfidence. now many of you who may know me will know i am a competitive guy and i have always loved the game of basketball. i learned early on that no self-respecting player ever ever leaves the court before taking his best shot. the way i saw it running for the united states senate was absolutely no different. i was going to give it my best shot and take absolutely nothing for granted. i was going to run hard, and i was going to run to win. in our lives, you know we all know that at some time in our lives where all to be the underdog at one time or another and i hope my book will help others to get through those trying times because everyone has moments when others are saying that something can be done. however the worthy the goal, it
is just not possible. let me tell you something, when your gut tells you otherwise, you have to go with your gut. if it is truly in your heart to take a big chance, but my advice is ignored the doubters and give everything lasts that is inside of you because sometimes it just taking a risk and overcoming the fear of failure is actually kind of a victory in itself. i don't know if you agree with me but that is how i have always felt. [applause] and you never know. you just never know when you might beat the odds and go all the way. and against all odds seemed like a fitting title for a story of my unlikely win last year and frankly for the longer tail that you actually find in the book, it is my life. it is definitely not life and as you will quickly gather it has
not been cleaned up or made to look any more gentle or tidy than it really was. a time or two it was suggested that i could be a little more vague, little more vague about some of the things i experienced a move little faster over the roof spots toward the happy ending and being a united states senator. but my attitude was, there are enough self-serving books by politicians and quite frankly i didn't want my name on it. i did not want my name on it. so i left in some stuff i am quite frankly not especially proud of. in a few moments in my life that i would rather been forgotten. i just figured if i was going to tell my story at all, i ought to just trust you, the readers, and just tell it straight. some of the earlier experiences i recounted in his book, let me just say that no one will accuse me of idealizing my youth.
it is a life story. in my family, when i was a kid, it wasn't anyone's idea of a model household. my mom and dad between them had eight marriages. yes, eight marriages. mom is happily divorced and dad is happily married. and as i grew up at various times outside boston dad was always in and out of my life and unfortunately he was mostly out. we moved 17 times by the time i was 18 and it was always either in a cheap apartment or someone else's house. my mom raised my sister lee ann at may basically alone. sheeted waitressing work, office work and other odd jobs and at times yes we were even on public assistance. my mom had a pretty hard. sometimes adding to her own troubles in having a restless kid like me around to look and acted a lot like his absent father while getting harder to handle every year didn't exactly brighten her outlook either.
stepdad came and went in our lives including some pretty sorry characters. two of them had a very violent streak that brought a lot of grief and fear into our lives are go just to give you an idea of how miserable we were with one of these guys, when the house we shared with them came up for sale a few years ago i dropped by and i looked at it and it brought back a lot of memories. as i was driving away i said man i wish i had some money so i could buy the place in burned down. i know, would have been trouble. it really was that unpleasant sometimes and there is no getting around the plane telling of it in my book. but let me tell you, before you take out your receipts and i know a lot of you save them, to see they can return the copies on your way out of here -- [laughter] you should know that things do get that are in the last chapters. yeah they do. is hopeful book and i'm glad to say my mom and dad are in my
life and play a pivotal role in it. they know and love their grandchildren. we are all content to focus on what we have today instead of what could have been or should have been. and besides this family i have absolutely no complaints. my luck turned in a big way in the mid-1980s when i married my wife, gale. and our girls are grown now. being the dad and a happy family has been the greatest thing in the world that has happened to me. i am not going to cry. [laughter] it is a world away from what we called the family when i was growing up. and when you see, when you see the opposite you can never ever take a loving peaceful home for granted ever. most of us when we think back on our own personal journeys and i know i'm not the only one who has had tough times, we can
remember the toughest times the clearest of all. i know everyone in this audience has those tough times and you think back and you say wow. that is how it is and was for me in writing this book. it wasn't hard to pull up the details of some of the adversity that came my way. for example when a 6-year-old young boy is taking the best bunches of a drunken stepdad and when a kid can't even find a safe haven at a bible camp, i won't lie, it leaves a mark. for me, when there were times in my boyhood when i felt like i couldn't trust anyone, couldn't trust anyone. for a while i wasn't actually been that trustworthy myself and fell in with some older kids whose idea of an afternoon outing was going to the mall to do some shoplifting. that is how i find myself at age 13 sitting in a big courtroom facing an even bigger judge in feeling like they little that i
actually was. the judge, fine man didn't know that i've been reagan ripped off a suit that i was wearing that day. but the judge did know, he did know that there was a young kid in there who could still go one way or the other. he gave me the talking to that i needed and a big big break that started to point me in a better direction. there are other great people in my life, teachers, basketball coaches and parents and friends who showed up in my life just in time. from them, i learned to take responsibility for the first time in my life, to channel my energy in a structured way and to give discipline and whatever talent i actually had. for so long, i remember it like it was yesterday, for so long i felt like a loser kid who is missing out on everything good and they showed me how much i really had going for me.
and in part because of them, and also because of my grandparents, things never completely came unraveled. and i escaped to beat the odds. well, let me take a little drink here. i hope you like basketball. how many here like basketball? [applause] i like the celtics a little better than they could clippers and the lakers but that's okay. don't hold that against me, all right? i hope you do like basketball because there is a lot of it in the book. i'd love to lose myself in the intensity of the game when i played. on the court, but chaos and let downs in my daily life are completely out of my mind. there were clear rules and boundaries that i actually needed. i knew my abilities and how to use them when i played. i once told my coach as a matter
fact when i was younger, probably eight to ninth grade, that i wanted to wear knee pads because that was the cool thing. he told me scott, serious players aren't the guys with kneepads but the ones with the scrapes and bruises because they always die for the ball and then brush off the pain. those are the guys you have to watch out for. given my home life i knew exactly what it meant to brush off the pain. on the basketball court i i wasn't the fastest kid, that being tough and a hard worker counted for an awful lot. now, l.a. basketball fans might remember the wisdom of the legendary coach john wooden. he said, never let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. it was relevant then and it it is relevant today and that type of thinking helped me to see past my own limitations, to supplement my financial aid by playing basketball. i held jobs that usually
involves a mop or a paintbrush or a shovel, any honest work that would pay the bills and it was good by me because it kept moving me closer to something better that i knew that was out there. when reporters in this most recent senate race actually thought i had a chance to win, they did a little research, the research and my background, i am shocked. shocked. and they didn't linger on my 25 year legal career, my years in the state legislature or my 31 years in the army national guard. no, what really got their attention was the work i did in the 80's with "cosmopolitan" magazine. [laughter] let's just say it seemed like a good idea at the time. [laughter] especially when they fedex me a ticket to new york city and a check for $1000 back in the 80's. that was good.
and there i was without a nickel to my name and a mountain full of tuition bills ahead of me, so i accepted. and for a while there i was. i was the cosmo guy, accepting all the duties and privileges you might imagine that comes with such a title. i was even on "the today show" back then. even on "the today show," brian gumbel and jane pauly, you remember it. in the green room i remember someone asked if dana contest number might hinder a political future by had one in mind. no, politics isn't for me. anyway i figured who is going to care about these pictures 30 years from now? go figure. strange as it might sound experience as i read about in this book and yes even my modeling days, they add up to a life that i wouldn't trade for anything. it is often like that as you know. you all know that.
you know exactly what i'm talking about, just like you. we look back and we see how even the roof times that we have had, all those rough experiences have happened -- actually shaped as for the good and actually made us who we are. i try to get that across in my book. it is a story that millions and millions of other people could tell with different scenes and scenarios in different details about being poor and feeling trapped and wishing you could just get up and run away from it all. some kids whether they are in boston or south-central l.a., that is all life seems to offer some times. let me tell you something. i know for a fact that i'm a better man for having been one of those kids, with no money in my pocket, no father to protect me and my sister, no feelings of pride of achievement outside of basketball and if my story, if my story can reach one kid and show everything can be better if they listen to the right people,
let me tell you something. i will take that over even the best book review. [applause] it is also a book about second chances and the people who gave them to me. may be the only people we remember better than the ones who knock this down, and we all have them, are the gracious one to help this up and actually give us a break in our lives. and encouraged us and gave us the encouragement and direction we needed when absolutely no one else would. they didn't even think we would be worth the trouble. i know better than to think that any good thing in my life was preordained. i know that and i have come this far only because long ago a few people in my life thought i was actually worth the trouble and
thank goodness for that. from his youth president reagan said the mantis and bases rating on the game is won or lost but on the record of the player in later life. what kind of man and the boy had become. i had a couple of coaches just like that. this good influence i can still feel today. i still have a relationship with these coaches in these mentors in my life today. and they found a decent work ethic in me and reinforced it on a daily basis. they toughened up my inside game and gave me combatants to play with the best and to never ever let the other team inside my head. those are the strengths that will serve you well in any line of work. let me tell you, they absolutely come in handy if you are a republican running for political office in massachusetts. [laughter] like any kids in my state and in my generation i grew up respecting the name of john f.
kennedy. even in our messed up houses we often had a picture of jfk on the wall. ted followed him in the seat and held it from the time i was three years old, 51 now. on top of that honored legacy we are in a state where 12% of registered voters are republicans. 12%. in a republican it bothers to run for political office is in just taking on an opponent. you are taking on the entire democratic state committee and this whole machine of unions and special interest. most times they can keep a pretty tight hold on things in massachusetts and my race was different for a whole lot of reasons. in a bad economy with two wars going on voters when a pretty serious frame of mind. while the machine was treating the whole thing as a formality. iran on the issues and voters appreciated being treated as if they actually had a choice.
i said a government takeover of health health care was a bad idea and i was against it. i also said that we needed to get off the road of big government and dangerous debt and focus again on private enterprise and growing our economy and new jobs for our people. [applause] and dealing with america's terrorist enemies, is that our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them not lawyers to defend them. [applause] and do you know what the default position of the political machine is always to brush off political republican candidates who are running for offices as right wingnuts. this time it was different. it didn't fly in massachusetts and i remember a short time before the final debate, rembert liked was yesterday on a biblical night. not as cold as it is here. [laughter] this is tropical, come on.
i shook hands. actually went outside. it probably was -- it had to have been 10 or 20 below zero. it was a cold night, but they were out there holding signs were each other and i went outside and shook hands with everybody, including those people who were supporting my opponent. they were mostly union guys who said hey scott, we are voting for you. [laughter] we are here because we are getting paid to hold the signs. we are voting for you, yes. [laughter] well, that was sure a confidence builder for the debate i was having an hour later which had the usual back-and-forth until one question was put to me by the moderator. it was a chance to say what was on everybody's mind. the question was whether i was really really willing to vote against obamacare, even as the senator from massachusetts holding ted kennedy's seat.
well, i began my answer. look, with all due respect, it is not the kennedy seed and it is not the democrats eat, it is the people's seat and it is still the people's feet. [applause] and from that point on it was amazing. you could feel a real shift in the momentum of the race and it wasn't long before a quick visit to boston was added to the president's schedule. yeah. remember that? and my response was that the president of the united states is always welcome in the commonwealth of massachusetts. i even for gave him for disrespecting my truck. [laughter] it was too late anyway because something bigger than both of us was happening in massachusetts, the ideals of reagan republicans and reagan democrats were once again uniting us and as i said on election night if it can happen in massachusetts it can happen again all over america.
[applause] and he did because as we saw again in this past election in november there are some convictions that need only be stated plainly, plainly to win a majority. at a time when the national debt is more than $14 trillion rising, if you stand for spending discipline than the people will stand with you. and with eight, nine or 10% of our fellow citizens out of work and a year and a half after we are told -- that our opponents pitch another stimulus bill. to the barricades to keep obamacare and see what happens. if our cause is free enterprise, lower taxes and personal responsibility, then trust me, a lot of working people may keep hearing those democratic signs that they will vote republican.
[applause] i have been in the senate now for a little over a year now, a year and a couple of weeks and to this day i keep on my mantle in my office a picture of ted kennedy. it reminds me not only of someone i liked and admired but also of a promise i made to my friends back home, which was to work with good people wherever i find them. i have always told my fellow republicans if you are looking for a full on an ideologue i am not your guy. but to someone who needs an ally in the cause of limited government and individual liberty and the confident advance of freedom in this world, then i say count me in because that is the cause to earn my loyalty long ago in the days of president ronald reagan.
in the way of examples to follow, there is still no finer example of then-president reagan. [applause] and let me just say in closing because i know i hear some grumbling stomachs out their -- [laughter] thank you for braving the weather and coming. [laughter] i think i may run in my shorts a little later. but truly, mrs. reagan i feel like i am dreaming. i am so honored to meet you. you and your husband were such role models for all of us as americans and it has truly been my privilege to join each and everyone of every one of you at this beautiful place that bears his name, so thank you, god bless and have a wonderful dinner. thank you.
[applause] >> thank you. please sit down. i know we are getting hungry. i just want to go down and say hello to mrs. reagan for just a minute, so i will be right back. >> senator brown has been kind enough to agree to spend about 10 or 12 minutes with us. we have a list of questions i became to the library this evening. >> and i haven't seen them so here we go. >> i think you you'll find his first one interesting. >> who is going going to win the nba? celtics, come on. [laughter] [applause]
go ahead. i know everyone is hungry. fire way. >> what he think about what is happening in wisconsin? >> the question is, what is happening in wisconsin? obviously the people of wisconsin are trying to get a handle on their $3.6 deficit and they elected a new governor to deal with that problem. they elected a new legislature to back him up. he sent his plan to the legislature. i encourage the senators to come back into the people's business. [applause] and everything is on the table right now, folks. we are in very deep fiscal trouble not only federally but in each individual state as you well know and everybody needs to get in a room, sit down and hammer things out in a richer, responsible fairway so the citizens of wisconsin can actually compete not only throughout this country but throughout the world on a global market. [applause] >> in light of the recent
shooting of congresswoman giffords what are your opinions regarding protection of congressmen and senators during public appearances? >> i feel safe you are protecting me today. i must say that. first of all, listen, what happened to the congresswoman is a shame, and the deranged individual who did it is absolutely no excuse for it. my thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family. i am so thankful that she is moving along and seems to be getting better but let's not forget the young girl that was killed and the others that were actually killed. the political rhetoric throughout this country while we have the ability to freely and openly debate and criticized, we also need to be respectful. like president reagan and tip o'neill. remember they would battle and battle but then they would go
out and have a beer. no, don't use any additional security that i will say i am aware and when i feel that the threat level rises, do what i have to do to protect myself and my family. my deepest wishes that people debate, they disagree, they solve problems but in my personal philosophy is i will debate to death and i will argue to death in a respectful responsible manner and if i can go out and have a beer with you after, that is how i tried to do my bargaining and negotiating. >> what has surprised you the most about washington? that's easy. [laughter] >> laugh but what surprises me most is listen i'm the luckiest guy in the world, no doubt about it. i am blessed to be united states senator. there couldn't be anything besides the birth of my kids in and my marriage that i'm more proud of. as they travel around the world
to afghanistan-pakistan israel dubai and jordan do you know what they talk about overseas from the prime ministers and presidents and business leaders all the way down to the poorest farmer pushing a cart full of pomegranates -- talk about jobs. up until we got back we spend 12 to 15 days talking about anything to do with jobs. we are in the middle of a two-year recession and we have done nothing to deal with anything to do with jobs. are you kidding me? really? so here we are in a new year. i am encouraged that we are looking at the debt and deficit and while everyone else is talking about you know, illegal immigration i'm talking about jobs. when they are talking about this or that i'm talking about jobs. and finally, it seems to be they're focusing on jobs and we will see the first issue is is the 10996 and we will do with that in two with a medical device tax in the health care bill. streamline and consolidate and do whatever he can to get this economy moving and repatriate all the offshore money.
work on the tax code and reduce corporate taxes. there are so many things we can do and we are missing such a great opportunity right now to work with the american people in a bipartisan bicameral basis to do just that. the people of the united states of america sent a very powerful message in november that they are tired of business as usual. we need to get our fiscal house in order. i'm so anxious to get back to do just that. [applause] >> how did your parents is as a child a way you raise your own children? >> well, haven't missed any basketball games or recitals or parent-teacher things. i am probably -- it is funny when i was doing work wherever i was, what time is the game? i try to teach them the things that i didn't learn and the things that i did learn. i try to teach them better. we all can learn and grow from
our parents mistakes and i remember growing up and saying i am not doing that and definitely not doing that. i may do that but i will try to do it a little bit better and i like that. so, you will read in the book and i hope you all do get the book because it does send a very powerful message that regardless of your circumstances, and there are many many people who have way worse circumstances than i did, if you have a few good people around you just there as mentors you can actually make a difference. so i've tried to just be a good dad. the best way i can. we are a family like many other families are a work in progress, but i think so far so good, you know. knock on wood. >> how did your parents feel about the book? >> as you saw my parents have had their own difficulties. they are the first ones to admit that they made mistakes but it was a different time. 50, 40 years ago, different time, different time for women, it different time as young
people. my parents were obviously concerned about everyone knowing their business, but they were also very thankful that i created this opportunity to actually talk about the things that we had dealt with in our family because publicly like many of you there are certain taboo things you don't talk about in your family. i remember when i was dealing with some of the abuse issues at camp and i called home once in to come home. my mom three or four weeks ago said, was at the time when he wanted to come home from camp when you were being abused? i said yeah. she said, i am so sorry. that enabled us to then talk about a few other things and other things and other things. my dad for weeks ago, we sat down for breakfast and he is dealing with parkinson's. he is battling his own health right now and he looked me in the eye and he said, i'm sorry. i wish i had known. i wish i'd been there and that enabled us to -- oh great.
there was like this big weight being lifted off. wow, he gets it now. than we were able to build on a relationship unlike many other families folks we are working progress but i love them and they love me. and the other time that they spent battling and doing the things in their lives they have now concentrated on our kids which is a wonderful value to me and to them. >> what the until due to seek the senate seat in the first place that it was so traditionally democrat? >> it was on a dare first of all. done ever challenge me. [laughter] that is why the president doesn't want to play me in basketball. [applause] spewed by kyrgyzstan the middle of your answer that is actually the final question, could you be the president at basketball? >> just tell them to him to bring his wallet.
[applause] but seriously, yeah i could beat him. i have been blessed. like i said i had some good people and enjoy playing sports. use a lot of references to sports in the book, and there are so many things that we are dealing with right now it is overwhelming and you are dealing with it here on a more local basis. you know exactly what i'm going to -- talking about and i'm going to go off topic for just a minute. we are the point right now in her country where we have to make some tough and serious decisions about where we go as a country. are we going to be a leader like in the days of president reagan or are we going to be a follower? every going to just kind of be going along? i for one want to be proud to be an american as i am now and i want to be proud of. i want to be able to get our fiscal and financial house in
order. i want us to be leaders when it comes to our national security, setting the example and letting people know that when they invest their dollars here in the united states of america they are going to be safe. so we need to make some very serious choices and i'm hopeful that we will do it in a rational responsible manner because listen, 2011, this is the time to do it. there is going to be plenty of time for politics. 2012 you will see all those nice commercials and say a oh my god, not again. 2011 though we need to get to work. we have got to get to work. you demanded it. you send a message, we need leadership from everybody, top to bottom. are there any other questions? >> that is all we have time for. >> thank you very much and enjoy your dinners. [applause] >> search for your favorite author and every program we have
last december independent senator bernie sanders gave it an eight and a half-hour speech on the senate floor about taxes and the economy. the speech was published as a book titled, "the speech." recently senator sanders talked about his speech in the book in washington d.c.. this is an hour. [applause] >> thank you. that was such a wonderful introduction. i wish you could have just kept going and going. it was sounding very good. i want want to thank busboys and poets for hosting this event and for all of the great work you do. thank you very much. and i want to thank everybody. it is a wonderful crowd. thank you all so much for coming out. that but may talk a bit about myself, kind of how i got to where i am, but i'm going to read a few pages. i will read the introduction to the book. i will go on for seven or eight hours after that. they didn't tell you that,
right? [laughter] and then we will take some questions and answers at 4:00 in the morning. as you heard, i am the longest-serving independent in the american great national -- congressional history. you may say why is that? why are you an independent? the answer is simple. it is that i believe both political parties, heavily dominated by trust and i think millions and millions of working families don't have the kind of voice that they should be having in all levels of government, and i've chosen to be an independent. aycock is now with the democrats and i have always done that. i began my political career in vermont by running for the united states senate on a third-party ticket. i received all of 2% of the
vote. that was back in roughly 1971. and, not deterred, he then ran for governor of the state of vermont. the same party called liberty union and i went from 2% to 1%. [laughter] not a trajectory we were hoping for, but i may not be very bright but i am persistent. i came back ran for the senate again in 1974 against my now colleague patrick leahy. he won, i lost but i got 4% of the vote in a three-way race. i saw the boats going up in two years later i ran for governor again. we have elections every two years in vermont and i got 6%. at that point they took the hint. may be getting elected to political office is what -- not what my life is going to be loud and i went about doing other
things, mostly doing some writing and working on historical filmstrips and actually having a pretty good time. in 1981, you know how politicians always tell you that people came up and said you should run for office? actually in my case it was true. they were never friends who said you know what? we have looked at the election results and you did really well in burlington and if you run in burlington which is the largest, you might actually win. so i did. and, we put together a wonderful coalition of unions and senior citizens and women's advocates, environmental habitats and police officers came on board. and on election night, we won by 14 votes competing with a five term incumbent which will probably go down in vermont history as a significant political upset of modern vermont history. then we went to the recount and
i ended up winning by 10 votes. i took office in 1981 with two supporters on the city council and the rest were democrats or republicans who are not particularly supportive of -- in fact they fired my secretary on the first day i took office and i had to run the city for the first year with the previous mayor's administration. it is like obama running with bush's administration. was a little difficult but a year later we had rallied people and we won a number of seats and the city council. i developed be no power and we began to do some really exciting things in burlington. after two years i ran for re-election against a democrat and one and then they combine the parties and we won anyhow. that was in 1987 and 1988 i ran for the united states congress and a lot of my liberal friends said you shouldn't win because you'll be a spoiler. there is a strong democrat
running against a strong republican. on election night the republican won by 34% and i got 31%, the democrats got 19%. two years later i ran for the same seat in the house and a one by 16 points against a strong democrat and served there for 16 years, ran for the united states senate in 2006 when senator jim jefferies as many of you know a very courageous person, chose not to run for re-election. he retired. we ran against the wealthiest guys in the state. up until that point the most anyone had ever spent in an election in the state of vermont was 2.5 million. he spent $7 million. we had to raise 5 million but we ended up winning by a very strong vote in 2012. so that is my political history. let you now take you to why you are here tonight and talk a little bit about the book.
and i will read you from the introduction. on friday december 10, 2010 i woke up at my usual time at my usual breakfast of oatmeal and coffee at the dirksen senate building and then had a typical daily discussion with some of my staff. at 10:30 a.m. i walked onto the floor of the senate and began a speech. it turned out to be a very long speech, and modern urchin of the filibuster. at one on for a nap hours until 7:00 p.m.. there were several reasons why went to the floor for that speech. first i had promised to do everything i could to oppose what i believed was a very bad tax agreement between president barack obama and republican leadership. at a time when this country is at a $13.8 trillion national debt and the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country it seemed to me totally absurd to provide hundreds of billions in tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. further, by confirming that this
was the lame-duck session before republicans took control of the house, further by confirming under democratic presidents, democratic democratic how senate democratic senate the basic tenets of roche's horrendous trickle-down economic theory disagreement was laying the groundwork for more bad decisions in the future. unfortunately, i was absolutely right and that takes us to the rhine republican budget of today. second, more tax breaks for the very rich is only one symptom of an economic and political system that is grotesquely failing the average american. the simple reality is the middle class of america is collapsing. poverty is increasing and the gap between the wealthiest people and everyone else is getting wider. how did this happen? why did it happen? what can we do about it? these are issues that had to be talked about and talked about in a way that is not often heard in washington.
over the 20 years i had served in the house in the senate i had examined these issues. issues far too often ignored by the corporate media and i colleagues in congress. from a wide variety of perspectives. now was an excellent opportunity to bring them together and to make the connections. what does it mean morally and economically that in 2007, the top 1% earned over 23% of all income in this country, more than the bottom 50%, more than the top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 90%. given the political power that goes with this concentration of wealth and in terms of capabilities campaign contributions in media ownership is the united states on its way to becoming an oligarchy form of society with almost all power resting in the hands of a tiny few?
what does it say about our economy in the political choices we make about it on capitol hill that today despite all of the huge increases in road activity and technology that we have seen in recent decades a two income family now with less disposable income than a one income family did 30 years ago. why is it that americans today work the longest hours of any people in the industrialized world. what is the correlation between the united states having by far the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country while we also have more people in jail. doesn't it make more sense to invest in our kids then and -- how does it reflect upon our political and legal system when the crooks on wall street who caused this around this recession now earn more money than they did before there banks
were bailed out by the taxpayers? how come none of them are in jail? and what does the financial reform bill mean when three out of the top four too big to fail banks in this country are now larger than they were before the wall street collapse? with assets of over half the gdp of this country. what does it mean to the economic teacher of our country that over the last 10 years we have lost 42,000 factories and millions of good paying manufacturing jobs and it is harder and harder to buy products manufactured in america. how does it happen that ceos of large corporations boast about the advantages of outsourcing their production and jobs to china but when hard times hit, they come running to u.s. taxpayers for a bailout? and on and on and on. so those were some of the themes
that i wanted to talk about in my remarks so i wanted to try some of the dots together. now, what does it feel like to stand and talk for a nap hours when you can't leave the floor? most importantly the question has to be, time and time again, especially specially by the media, how come you didn't go to the bathroom? how was that? [laughter] and that is my secret and i'm not telling anybody. you will never know. and you are doing this with a national television camera on you. and the answer is, my profound answer is, it is hard. try it sometime. and interestingly enough the after effect hit me a few days later when i found myself very very tired. during the speech itself a legs began to cramp up a bit in my voice also became pretty horse. when i walked onto the floor, had no idea how long i would
stay. when i was mayor of burlington in the 1980s, sometimes gave speeches for as long as an hour. that was it. what i last three hours, five hours, 20 hours? i really didn't know but what i was sure about in my own mind however was that i wasn't going to read from the phone book or sing songs. you will be happy to know i didn't sing any songs, believe me, just to eat uptime. want to speak as long as i had something relevant to say. while i didn't have a script of the speech i mostly worked over previous speeches i've given or articles that i've written and occasional excerpts from books i had read. i've read a few lines of pages and go off from there. twice colleagues came to the floor and engaged in it colloquy and i remain grateful to senator sherrod brown and mary landrieu for my support. all so it contains some repetition. what do you want? eight to the half-hour's. [laughter] and this is not an accident.
in giving this speech i was more than aware that most people were not going to be listening to it in its entirety. i suspected that most people would tune in for half an hour or an hour then move on with their lives. i made it a point to keep returning to my basic themes. was i surprised about the kind of intention -- attention that the speech received? are you kidding? the phones in my washington and vermont offices never stopped ringing. in vermont everyone of my eight staff people did nothing else all day but respond to calls, thousands of calls and e-mails. the senate television web site crashed because of the huge number of people who wanted to watch the speech live on line and currently c-span2 had an exceptional day. according to "the new york times" my speech was the most twittered event that day. what a distinction, most twittered event and someday i
will learn what twitter is all about. >> there were front page stories in newspapers all around the country and the speech was talked about widely in the media. the number friends who signed up on my facebook page double. some journalists even claimed that claim that obama had an unscheduled impromptu press conference with warmer president bill clinton who defended the tax deal in order to divert needy attention away from what i was doing on the senate floor. it just turned out clinton was in the white house. ..
on the ferocious assault that are taking place against working families and for a practical plan on how we can reverse the obscene politics that favor the rich over the middle class and for this advantage in our nation. if my speech also educate people about some of these issues, made them aware that they are not alone in their concerns for their pain and point to the way to the future it was well worth it. thank you. [applause] >> okay. but i would love to do now is take any questions anybody may have. just be allowed. yes. >> will have to shout so everyone can hear you speak to
[inaudible] >> what is your advice on what we were congress should be doing [inaudible] >> let me back up that excellent question because perhaps not a trip latinos with the citizens united decision is about. for many, many years we've had a disastrous campaign finance system, which clearly favors both people have a lot of money in corporate interests against those of us who do not. a year or so ago, our supreme court by a five crusco four decision passed a disastrous decision called the citizens united decision, and in their wisdom we found actually five people in the same room, the only five people in america who actually believe that a corporation is a person.
five people in america and the happen to be on the supreme court at the same time. [laughter] and essentially but the decision does is it says to the large corporations that you have first amendment freedom of speech rights, and therefore you are able to express your freedom of speech by putting 32nd ads on television, telling the world how terrible bernie sanders is, and by the way, you could do that in secrecy. you don't even have to reveal who you are. you can come up with a phony name and organization. this is a disastrous decision which makes it very bad campaign finance situation much worse. we saw it in the last election and you're going to see a lot more of it. essentially this spring to happen is a handful of billionaires' and very wealthy corporate people will sit around the room and say okay 10 million
at the vermont, 20 million in california, and for these guys this is a small sum of money to win a senate seat or house seat. it's a horrendous decision. now what we have tried to do on the floor of the house and the senate is at least pass some legislation that would minimize the impact of citizens united said there was legislation brought forth which not shockingly no republican support which said okay if i put an ad on television attacking my opponent, which i've never done, i have to have my name on tv and say i take responsibility for this ad so we said fine. if you are a ceo of a corporation whose paying for this and get your face up there and say take responsibility for this ad and we thought it would discourage a lot of corporations from doing that. second of all, we want to make sure that if a chinese company,
a company in the united states owned significantly by the chinese interest that they should not be allowed to participate in american politics. third, what we want to do is to say if you utilize that, then your opponents, some of the attack me using that process i would be able to get the cheapest possible to respond to. we lost those votes. we couldn't get any republicans. for the republicans this is a very good supreme court decision. your question is should we go forward with a constitutional amendment? in general i have to tell you i'm not a good fan of the constitutional amendment. people think everybody has a problem we need a constitutional amendment to solve it, that weakens the constitution is about which is a pretty good document. but on this issue i think we can make the exception to the rule. so i do believe that certainly a constitutional amendment is one of the options we have and
should simply say that a corporation to everyone's shocked and surprised is not a person. last point i would say on this issue we had a town hall meeting -- we did a lot of town hall meetings in vermont and had won a couple weeks ago, a lot of people out and then and jerry's, you know, ben and jerry was there and was very funny and says you know, ben. i'm a person. this is jerry comegys a person. ben and jerry's, not a person. [laughter] [applause] and in a nut shell that's about it. the idea that we give corporate corporations first amend their lights is an absurd. >> i was wondering we missed out on kyoto -- recommend?
>> i think in my view global warming is a huge issue, and it saddens me very much that today in the congress you have a majority of people in the house, almost all republicans including intelligent people who are willing to ignore the whole scientific community who tells us the global warming is real and is today closing serious problems and that those problems are only going to get worse in the future. you have the cia telling us in terms of national security, global warming which can lead to the war as people around the world fight over the limited resources because the drought and floods, food shortages, you've got the cia, the defense department, the agriculture, all
of these organizations all of the world, and yet the feeling on capitol hill is such that we certainly this political moment are not going to move forward on global warming. but we can talk about education and health care, what are the answers, and the main point i want to make to you is the solution is not going to come inside of the 12th defeat to build a. it's great to come in cities and towns all over this country where ordinary people begin to stand up and organized and get out on the streets and say enough's is he not. i can tell you without any fear of contradiction that what goes on in the converse is far removed from the reality of the lives of ordinary people. and that's true whether it's economics or health care to read what goes on in the congress is there is an invisible wall
infiltrated by lobbyists and very powerful corporate interests who shape the whole discussion, shape the whole debate. you have a corporate media the will talk about everything in the world except issues most important to ordinary people. so it is a huge issue and right now i don't think that there's anyone who thinks we are going to make serious advances in addressing that. what we may be able to do is get some investment in energy efficiency and the state of vermont is a good job in that area, gets investments in a sustainable energy like biomass and other investments in the public transportation but as you notice, for example in the recent that was passed in order to prevent republicans from shutting down the government, obama had to give up on billions of dollars of high-speed rail. so instead of investing in the
public transportation we had to cut back on that and i feel very much that is this debate goes forward on the budget you will see more of these cutbacks. but the other questions on your mind, we can turn this thing around. i believe that we can. there are very few people in america not located in sight of the capitol. who believe that it makes any sense at all to give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country, to cut the corporate tax rate at a time when many corporations seeking billions of dollars already pay nothing in taxes and then having given huge tax breaks to people who don't need it cut back on the infrastructure, cut back on the needs of our children, cut back to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars on medicaid, madcap, few people believe that makes anything at all but our job is to cut through the media
which doesn't discuss this issue from a take on the big money interests who sponsored the members of congress and a large campaign contributions to organize and educate, and if we do that we are going to win this thing. >> thank you very much for being a member. the election has opposition -- >> we think there are at least the one serious candidate on this but as of this point they are not spending money against me. >> to [inaudible] and immigration are you finding the conversation?
>> good question. i will tell you what we intend to do on that issue in the area that i have jurisdiction. there are some very frightening statistics out there that we don't talk enough about having to do with that poverty in america is in many ways a death sentence, and what i mean by that is if you look and contrast in terms of the racial disparities, say a rich white guy who has access to good quality health care from the disease prevention, doesn't live under an enormous amount of stress because the of the income that he needs etc, contrast that to a low-income black person and you were going to see a very significant discrepancy and disparity in longevity. we are going to see that and do a hearing and get some studies done on that. but the fact of the matter is whether you're black, white, hispanic or whatever, when your
poor, you are going to live a shorter life span and the quality of your life will not be as good as somebody else. and the report issues. >> i hope you can get democrats to stand strong. no one wants the debt ceiling raised more than though wall street banks who are the heart and soul of the republican party. we have to stand up to the treaty party -- [inaudible] >> that's a very good question so let me back it up so everybody knows what we are talking about.
and let's be honest about this, i do a radio show every friday. we speak with a fellow named tom harkin, does a great job, and we talked to a couple million people, and every week somebody raises this issue. the issue they raised is why is it the republicans are so tough they don't compromise and democrats compromise all the time. that's the question they raise and just look at what has happened in the last year. in terms of what this book is about, but the republicans said is okay, there are several million people whose unemployment compensation is going to expire, but we don't want to extend unemployment. and unless you give us -- by the way, that was a historical because historical the when
unemployment was above a certain level where we are right now, generally they wouldn't buy the partisan support for extending unemployment. we are not going to do it. well, that's terrible. you've got to do it. okay, we will do it, but this is what we need from you. we need to expand the bush tax breaks for the wealthiest people. we need to lower the tax rate on the state tax which goes to the very wealthiest people, top three tenths of 1%, have to bring those things down, and we are -- this was the republicans are the support of the $120 billion from the social security fund by giving a tax holiday on the payroll tax. 120 billion. that is what they demanded and essentially they got everything that they wanted. i thought and that is what was on the floor eight and a half hours that was a very cool compromise, the was a very poor
compromise which they got 90% of what they wanted. we are not going to expand unemployment now. a few weeks ago what was the black male then? if you don't give us to cut that we want we are going to shut down the government. 800,000 federal employees and i'm going to have a paycheck, government services are not to be available to people you better give us what we want or we are going to shut down the government. well, i voted against that, the democrats fought back and protective head start and among other things the program that i worked very hard which is the community health centers to the 20 million people we have to increase that so that in five years we will have 40 million people be able to get primary health care and mental health counseling and the start to come back $600 million of that program millions of people won't have access in the future to the community health center health
care. all right? so the black male was we are going to shut the government down. and democrats fought back a little bit. but not enough. now to your point we are in part three of the movie and this time is unless you make devastating cuts or leave the groundwork for the devastating cuts in the future, we for the first time in the history of this country are not going to pay our debt. we're going to default on our debt and cause an international financial crisis, the outcome of which nobody knows will lead to a world depression? will it lead to higher interest rates? almost definitely. it will mean that for the first time in the history of this country people who buy bonds for the united states will have second thoughts about that. republicans have said we are prepared to do that. we are prepared to do that
unless you give us what we want. and this is like, you know, a child having a temper tantrum now i'm going to go nuts when companies want give the candy or i'm going to burned on the place unless you give me what i want. with the questioners suggest which is an interesting point is that probably the first group of people are going to be honest by not raising the debt ceiling on wall street and i agree with you. i happen to think that our friends on wall street alone, a good part of the republican party will probably not allow their employees to do that. [laughter] so i think we have to because the point is it never ends. so these guys are very bold, they are very tough, and they're very irresponsible. my suggestion to the president is to say to them to look them in the eye and say if you want
to for the first time in default or if you want to send the world go ahead and do it and the voters are going to hold you accountable in the next election, but we are not going to keep certain during on issue after issue. [applause] [inaudible] >> say your question again. [inaudible] >> as i was coming back to washington and i went to the burlington vermont airport a lot of people said it is a great day and i share that. look, you have a guy out there
and one doesn't know in the last few years how actively he was involved in terrorist movements because he was kind of isolated and they learned more about that i suspect within the next few weeks. but this is a guy that not only on 9/11 but in other actively thousands and thousands of innocent men, women and children, and i think the world is better off without him. now, but i am asked on capitol hill by some of the media is what does this mean about the war in afghanistan and so forth and so on. number one, if anybody thinks that it was osama bin laden single-payer sidley running the international war on terrorism and that it was his demise suddenly everything is going to be fine, that is a naive point of view, it is not the case. we have cells all over the world and people who want to do very, very bad things. i think psychologically that taking him out and does have a
positive impact. i think more importantly the growth of the space movements in the middle east are very, very significant and when i'm asked about afghanistan my view is it didn't really change the day before he was killed or the day after. we have been there for ten years, and i was in afghanistan a couple of months ago. it was an enormously complicated and difficult situation. what you have as a country which is totally, totally poor and underdeveloped. do you know how much education, the average police officer in afghanistan today has? >> where an international group germany, the united states, ireland i think and others were training police officers in afghanistan with the hope they would read what the first degree or third grade education. i visited a village in the
southern part of the country and over the last thousand years that taliban had been strong and walked on the street with a few senators passed the united states marine corps. you walk down the main street and see these guys selling vegetables or meat or would it is on the street in an effort in the world behind closed doors. the goal of afghanistan is to make sure that taliban never red ant that would be very bad for a wide variety of reasons. on the other hand, after ten long years i believe the time now is to bring our troops home as quickly as we possibly can. [applause]
>> [inaudible] and what is your plan on justice for the palestinian people -- [applause] >> i think that the israeli lobby is one of many, many lobbyists in washington, and my hope is that the president will work with israel and the arab countries and people of all political persuasions to develop what i suspect will be a two-stage solution, and i think we have to be aggressive. it breaks my heart because i've been to the middle east to see decent people on both sides in this never-ending so i would
hope that the united states will play an active role. it's very difficult because you have loonies on both sides trying to tear apart, but i would hope that we can bring people together so that this never ending violence comes to them and to read >> [inaudible] >> i didn't know him personally but he did listen vermont, yes. >> sullivan by the way, do any of you know who he was? she was a -- >> [inaudible] >> did you? do you know i.f. stone? he was intellectually for stone. he was one of these guys, one of these independent journalists who actually read material and asked hard questions and wrote a
lot of books. i think in the last years of his life but i've never met him sorry to. okay. one more question i think. >> i have some strong words for the trade [inaudible] rhetoric to know what do you think of all forms of budget? >> by the become in my office, remember eyelift -- we came here on the subway but we don't have subways like this in vermont. so to get to work in vermont and
all over america you drive, and what happens is you've got millions of working people many of whom who are now paying $4 or more for a gallon of gas that is coming right out of their paycheck and it is making their very sorry economic situation today even worse. now, here's what you've got with the gas prices. let me just back it up above that for the friends on wall street. when you talk to people in vermont or anyplace else in this country people are very, very angry. it was a poll today i think was the gallup poll, and they showed i believe for the first time is that people now believe their kids are going to have a lower standard of living than they did. my parents didn't have any money at all and my dad worked his
wife we live in a small apartment but their dream was like every parent's dream come every parent dreams their kids will do better than you especially if you start off without any money. all of this country now people are thinking kids are going to have less education than i did, my kid is going to earn a lower wage than i did come and with a lot of despair and anger all over this country. if you would ask me one issue, one fact that symbolizes that people solve the crux on wall street coming into use that word very and wisely. the crux on wall street whose greed and recklessness and illegal behavior destroyed our economy from millions of people out of their jobs, people lost their homes, people lost their life savings when wall street collapsed and now after they were bailed out by the people of this country they are making more money than they ever did
before and not one of these guys is in jail. these people are destroying an entire economy and the end up making tens of millions of dollars in compensation. what all of that is about is i think people are beginning to understand that these guys have so much wealth and so much power that they are untouchable. they can commit a crime in midday light a terrible crime the whole world is looking at, destroying millions of lives and they say and nothing you can do to me because i own the united states congress. you can't touch me. you're not going to throw me in jail. so what if i destroyed millions of lives. and that is, in my view, the real reality. now, how does that deal with your question about the gas prices? what you are seeing right now is with the theory of the oil
prices is supply and demand, that's capitalist economics. when the supply is limited and the demand is high, the prices go up. we all learned that in economics one no one. so let me be the first to tell you right now that there is more oil supply in america today than there was a year ago. and on top of that, there's less demand in america today than there was a year ago. more supply, less demand. what is supposed to happen? prices are supposed to go down and they go off the wall. the reason for that is our friends at exxonmobil and the other large corporations many of which by the weight make huge profits and pay nothing in taxes but that is an aside. with the of done is they've used the excuse of unrest in the middle east as a reason to raise prices. that issue number one. they are not alone. and one of the amusing things that is taking pleases you see the vision of some degree but in the oil companies and wall street. the oil companies yeah, we are
greedy and selfish, that's true, but we are not the only ones. what you see now is the speculation for wall street where the wall street firms are bidding up oil futures prices and don't use the product later just making money as the prices go up to read under the financial reform bill passed a year ago, we give the authority to an arcane commission nobody in the world has ever heard of called the commodities futures trading commission to in fact in the extreme speculation. that is what their job was. they have not done it, and i have urged the president to take action of these guys don't want to do it, get their resignations, but a whole lot of people, working people come and the economy as a whole are suffering while the oil companies and wall street a whole lot of money but this
would be a perfect example of the powerlessness of congress to deal with a very powerful entities seeking huge sums of money. all right, thank you for the question. let me just conclude by -- >> [inaudible] [inaudible] >> do you know anything about what is going on like the trillion dollar being printed out and i was just wondering like where that money is going to come is it going to be for creating jobs or what to pay the
debt? >> [inaudible] >> i guess so. and also would be spent all but one source -- hyper inflation so i was just wondering -- >> i don't know what that is a good policy issue. let me pick up on the point that you raised that goes someplace else that he reminded me. [laughter] and that is an issue coming together of the left and the right and that is the fed in general. now i have serious doubts about the financial reform bill, the dodd-frank bill, because i didn't think it went anywhere near far enough. other things i mentioned in the introduction, we bailed out to these huge financial institutions because they were too big to fail. if they went down they would seek a good part of the economy with them after unemployment. i didn't vote to bail them out, but my colleagues did.
and then we find out that after the bailout three out of the four are even larger today and a number of economists believe that at some point we are going to see a repetition of what we saw a few years ago. now what i got into the bill working with -- this is interesting, my right wing friend, ron paul -- and we had worked together while we were in the house that this is an interesting coming together of the right and left. and that is what we wanted to do was an audit of the fed. what i ended up getting is a couple of things to do everything i wanted. we got a lot. and that is during the bailout there was a whole lot of debate about the talks, the bailout which was my memory is correct seven or $800 billion i voted against it and it ended up passing. bottomline is committed the american people are outraged about this bailing out the people what caused the problem etc., etc.. in any case, if you want to know, you go to the u.s. department of the treasury, go to their web site, you find
where every nickel went and it is pretty transparent. at the same time, with very little discussion, a friend of the fed, ben bernanke and company, were lending out for $3 trillion at very low interest rates. as a member of the budget committee couple of years ago, bernanke teamed for the committee, and i set my constituents, the people of america want to know which financial institutions got the money. where did ago, how do you get it? and then i was very clever and i said to you have to be totally dishonest major financial institution to get the money for can be an honest business person? is there an 800 number that you have to call? they didn't think it was that funny. he said i'm not going to tell you and on that day we introduced legislation to bring a transparency, and we managed
to get that position in the financial reform bill. and a couple of months ago, the gao did the work but they did a good job and they revealed with $3 trillion went. needless to say, every major financial institution in this country got huge amounts of very low-interest loans. what was also surprising, you will all be delighted to know that at the same time a small business all over this country can't receive, i'm not able to find affordable loans, virtually every central bank in the world including arab central banks, korean central banks also got a bailout as well as wealthy families in this country and as well as large corporations like general electric. they all got a bailout and was made public. we also learned one of the arab banks the got a bailout is now owned majority-owned by libya.
that's how crazy it is. we are also looking at the fed. the point about this grant is that the fed is an enormously important agency. enormously important, of which the american people know very little. so we are fighting to bring transparency. also, you have bankers sitting around the room deciding who got these loans in what i consider to be the direct conflict of interest, and we have a position, which i hope will be implemented in july, the gao we will be talking about conflicts of interest. and people were part of the process in which the benefit of very handsomely, but the fed is a huge issue, and we need to work much more aggressively on that issue, and the function of the fed in my view should be to protect the middle class, to create decent paying jobs in this country, and not just to bail out very large financial institutions. [applause]
>> my question is about the federal [inaudible] [inaudible] >> i've known elizabeth for many, many years. elizabeth is one of the smartest people that i have ever known. she came to vermont to do some town meetings with me and what i love about her is that she is able to take the difficult economic concepts and translate that into english so that people know what she's talking about coming and i will tell you i did more lobbying to get elizabeth appointed than on any other issue because i will tell you
this also, when net not long into the obama administration i can tremor, six months, eight months after, half a dozen senators went to the white house to meet with them and said you know, mr. president, we are concerned that you are surrounding yourself with all of the same old wall street height with larry summers or ten -- tim greider geithner to read but i was determined i would do everything i could to make sure there was at least one progressive voice and then certainly elizabeth has that background. now there are a lot of republicans who were not with elizabeth. i certainly would have supported a recess appointment. i hope elizabeth will get the permanent appointment which she doesn't have right now but she is an extremely capable person
who is dealing with issues of the enormous importance to read if you look at the bible or any other religious tract whether it is the koran, what ever it may be, the charging of high interest rates usually is considered to be immoral, and the furious if you don't have a lot of money by lending you money it is wrong to kind of get blood from a stone, i shouldn't be charging such high interest rates. today in america we get calls on this all the time working people paying 25, 30% interest rates on their credit cards. that is no different than the loan sharking. i don't know that the ground breaking kneecaps like the gangsters to do it, but they punish people if they don't pay, and this is an issue i know e. elizabeth has been working on but it's certainly something i hope we can deal with through
her agency. maybe just a couple more questions. >> you actually filibuster on one ground the supermajority -- [inaudible] i'm wondering what do you see might have been different [inaudible] >> i can tell you there are a number of people all over this country and a number of us in the senate who feel the same way. harry reid is a good friend of mine and i like him very much. his dilemma always is that he believes that he has a job, that we have a job to pass legislation to address the problems facing america, which is what his job is about, that
is what the leader's job is. i think that we could have and should pick a particular issue. with the gentleman is talking about is we have seemed a record level of obstructionism on the part of the republicans the day after obama was elected. if you to accomplish something. in the old days, it was very rare for people to require the 60 votes for you to have to break the 60 votes to get cloture. a very rare. now on almost any significant piece of legislation would come the of demand 60 votes which is very difficult. but again, just one example. during the health care reform debate, i introduced legislation which would call for the medicare single-payer program. [applause] and by the way, i hope that my
state that vermont is going to lead the nation in that program and they're working hard. [applause] in any case i had no illusion that all that this was going to win. no way. if we would get between five to ten votes but i thought that it was important to get out there with in the first time of history that a single payer program had a voter on it, of which i got there to introduce the legislation and a republican colleague refused. when you do when you introduce legislation and say i ask that the bill be considered as read. in other words, you don't have to read the whole bill. this guy got up and said i object. i want the whole bill read. it would have required 16 hours of reading. and this wasn't going to win. was lucky to get ten votes but that's called obstructionism and that is what they have been doing. so i agree with you think we should have picked an issue when republicans are objecting and
let the american people shouted down and let the media and the american people focus on that issue, and it takes a week, two weeks, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, let's do it. that would have been my preference and i think the preference of some other people. [applause] >> [inaudible] i think all of you for coming out. >> [inaudible] earns a great deal of respect. i know that in 2008 we hope for the change and with the politics
62 in 2000 and over what saying the extremists and the capitalization [inaudible] allow me to answer that not specifically only in this sense because anybody can look if you are asking in my going to be involved in that process, but here is what i think. and i speak with some knowledge about this because i am an independent and i've run on certain parties and the longest serving independent in the congressional history. i think you've got to be traditions about it. in other words, i think in the
real world, in the real world i don't give a damn about anything i'm going to run for office and i don't really care if you have a white ring republican or senate, i really don't care. i'm running on principle. that's fine to really understand. disagree with that. all over the country there are opportunities for the progress of candidates to run if you want to run outside of the democratic party. i think that if the context is right, do it. i did. in 1988i was told not to run because it turns out i got a lot more votes from the democrats that they but you've got to be judicious about it. this i do believe, you know, that the republican agenda of the tax breaks for millionaires and savage cuts on the need for the middle class and working families, these guys do want to take us back to the 1920's where
if you were old, broken on your own, no health care for you, didn't matter if you were a kid, didn't matter. workers had no rights. do not underestimate. these are serious people. they are not fooling around. they want to take us back to the 1920's to win all the arctic for a society where the power rested with a handful of very, very wealthy people. i think that their views, that ideology is we, we, we of touch with what the american people believe. now, one of the problems that we have is you have a media which is a pretty poor job, which is also a corporate to a large degree, not to mention a television station. steve got that problem. but i think whether you run within the democratic party or not, i give you do not become cynical, do not give up on the political process. we are fighting for not only our
generation, but for our kids and our grandchildren. i have six grandchildren. i take their future seriously. okay? and we do not have the option of not fighting. we can beat these guys. we can beat them. nobody believes in their ideology. nobody thinks that children in america should not have health care or that workers should not have lights. [applause] they are a fringe movement, and if the democrats have the guts to go out and organize, if we work together on this thing, we can beat them and beat them badly. [applause] but we can't do it -- i know that it's hard. look, i know. people all over the country are disappointed. i'm disappointed. but you can't give up. we have to raise that progressive agenda, make it loud and clear, organize people about
he brought about the and he's right in his book catching on the flack in yorba linda california. this is 50 minutes. >> you are here because you know jim rogan and admire what he's done and know something about his background. if you want to do an early background, you have to read the book "rough edges," which i think many of you have. we premiered it when it first came out. it's about his life from welfare to washington, and it's fascinating because he has endured a tough life, which he of a sudden said this isn't for me and picked himself up and dusted himself off and went on to be very successful in public
service. he is a good friend of ours. he first met richard nixon because he has an obsession with presidential and public memorabilia and i am not kidding it is an obsession. i won't let his wife get up and talk about how much of that is in garage and in boxes for how much of it is in his office probably or how much of this all over his home, but he has been kind enough to share a lot of it with us, and we have much of it on display. but that's when he first met richard nixon as a young man and then probably he will tell you a little bit about that. but he is a neighbor. the rogans live here in yorba linda yet he was a member of our board for some time before he went on the bench and two were three years ago. but his wife in public service and then the legal profession began in 83 when he graduated
from will school. he was a practicing attorney, very successful in private legal practice. he was the deputy d.a. in los angeles, he was the youngest municipal court judge elected serving in glendale. he went on to become a congressman, you know him as a congressman. he also served as the undersecretary of commerce in washington after serving as a congressman, and he was the head of our patent office. then he came back here and did private practice and was drafted into the judiciary where he now serves. he's done what only a rough edges, which is a fascinating book about his life, but he has done "catching our flag," which you are here to hear about from and that deals with his
assignment as one of the principal managers to help on the prosecution of the president, president clinton, a few years ago. he kept copious notes, and has never really i don't think talked about that publicly, but decided to commit his memory and his notes to a book just for archives and for the sake of history. so you are here to hear about that and it is my pleasure to introduce him, congressman james rogan. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] sandy, thank you. we're old friends. i've known him for over 12 years. a special thanks to all of my friends of the nixon foundation and library for hosting this and for those of us that lesson north orange county and anywhere in southern california, you know
what a great resource, tremendous resource the nixon library is. the number of programs to put on for kids and things they do and i am especially grateful for all the volunteer that work here and some of them are here tonight. do we have a round of applause for all these people that do such a great job? [applause] and if you allow me in on that as we used to see in congress a point of personal privilege, if i were going through all the introductions i would like i would use a ball of my time but suffice it to say i have a number of friends and family colleagues from the bench have to introduce the judges that i see because when they pay for a ticket and don't get introduced you never hear the end of it. my colleague judge stanford from the superior court. [applause] and judge griffin, my other colleague from the court. [applause]
and a special thanks for people that worked on my assembly and congressional staff that are here as well. i want to -- i wasn't going to talk much about this but since sandy gave me the introduction i will. nixon played directly every important role in my life to it i grew up in san francisco in a very blue-collar low-income family come in and of course we were all union democrats. if there was ever a republican in san francisco i never met one. [laughter] but i was a total political junkie. i loved history government and politics and so in 1972 when president nixon was running for the reelection i was only 14-years-old and i get this thing in the mail that says we have a group called young voters for the president and if you are between the ages of 18 to 40, but was young, you compete for $240 we will put you on a charter plane we will fly you to miami beach for the republican
national convention, hotel, food, everything pete for and you can get into the convention. and i had $240 saved up from side trawlers. i was 14. i learned very early age that it's far better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. [laughter] so, i walked down to the local 711 and got a money order for the to under $40 when my mom came later i said here is the fifth thing, i'm going to miami beach by myself for a week. i'm 14, i'm going to get on this airplane and fly to miami from california. i'm going to spend the whole week there and then probably come home at the end of the week. [laughter] and my mother said you're 14. you can't do that. you can't go 3,000 miles of we all yourself with no parental supervision. and i said mom, i'm going to be with 20,000 republicans. how much trouble can i get into? [laughter] and she said you're right, you
can go. so i had this impression, i must be honest i had this impression, republicans, stiff, no fun, and i thought this is going to be just 20,000 boring people. i'm going to get on this plane but i will have a chance to collect lots and lots of political memorabilia for my collection. so i take this down to l.a.x. where they have a holding area at midnight they put us on a chartered plane and the young voters for the president i've never been on a charter plane before. i learned when you get on a charter plan of 18 to 40-year-olds there's no waiting for the pilot to say we are now at our cruising altitude you can get out of your seat. it wasn't ten seconds in the air everybody was out of their seats, they made the line for the liquor cabinet and started passing out booze all over the plane and within minutes of these people are dancing, drinking and having a big party and i'm taking all of this and as a kid trying to look as old as much rest possible. the only person who wasn't that way was my seatmate, this woman
going to put her 28 or so. she was sitting with me and was read out of central casting if you were looking for a school mom hair in a bun, very buttoned up and everything. but somebody offered her a glass of wine and she took it and then another and another coming in as we are flying for hours, she started complaining it's getting really hot on this airplane. [laughter] the fun came out of her hair and the buttons started getting unbuttoned and i'm going to guess we were somewhere over kansas when she's looking at me after about 12 drinks and she says you're a really nice guy, you seem like you're easy to talk to. can i tell you a secret? i said sure. she said i have a personality disorder. [laughter] that piqued my interest.
some of you may remember that name. he was a senator for 25 years. about 20 years ago he was accused of harassed and from some staffers and some lobbyists and as the senate was investigating this, somewhere it turned out that somebody disclosed for 25 years, every single day, senator packwood to the very copious notes. he kept a daily diary and not only wrote down his legislative issues, but found himself withheld to report things like woody -- what he ate. and when this came out, the
senate subpoenaed his diaries and he ended up having to resign from office and so forth. so when i got to washington and its total history junkie not who always felt more like a frustrated historian than a politician, i thought it was important whatever time i was there to keep a very careful diary. during president clinton's impeachment i got on the judiciary committee one day before the monica lewinsky story was revealed and i knew that nobody was keeping -- if somebody didn't keep a careful record for future historians, they would have to rely on either faulty logic or faulty memory serves well to notice. from the very first they started bringing magical patina to every behind the scenes meeting and trying to get the words as they were coming out of people's mouths. i thought this would be a very valuable archive. the congress in next to me that tim said are you keeping a
diary. i said yeah, this could be really important history. he shook his head and said that violates the packwood role. you can't keep a diary. and i said what is the packwood role? he said they can't subpoena which you don't write down. look around the room. you see anybody else keeping notes? and i looked around in other than an occasional doodler, i didn't see anyone else doing it. i kept writing them elected me for that was his impression. i felt this to be a very, very important archives. so the question is, why publish this now? why not to 11 or 12 years ago? i had a number of people waving publishing contracts. everyone knew i was keeping a diary and people seem to not care after a while. it became background noise. after president clinton's impeachment 12 years ago, a bunch of publishers say this to be a great oak and so forth in or refuse to the book.
i didn't want to read a book while i was still in congress, while it might be tempted to color my participation or try to appease an angry electorate back home they also got in fairness to president clinton and effort involved that i should wait at least 10 years to let passion school and try to be fiber object to. that's why he waited all this time. when i was defeated after the clinton impeachment as a result of the impeachment, the first guy to take me out to lunch and probably knew he needed a free lunch with speaker newt gingrich. and it took me to lunch and started planning my life for me carrying the lunch instead you need to write several books, but impeachment is not your first the care the first one will be the one sandy told you about, trained to. and so i took his advice and the reason i wrote the first book, "rough edges," which talked about how i got to washington is
because new to encourage me. he said he thought it would be very inspirational and the book developed the cult following and i still get people sending it to meat eaters later to to thank camacho is very gratifying, although i tend to find they are borrowed copies are not getting royalties anymore. [laughter] the premise of the book is as important because my mom was not the traditional mother of a future congressmen. she was a single mom on welfare are a convicted felon and an out of jail and a chunk out of high school in the 10th grade and went to work to help support the family so forth. i was running with a really bad crowd coming to a break and come in stealing cars, all these things. at some point i decided if i'm going to run for congress, which was my goal from the fourth grade, i probably have to straighten up and get an education. so the book chronicles a very tough it is for kids that live from that kind of like to turn
their lives around in the hurdles that are there. but it can be done. so i tell the story how i got through college and law school, bartending all over hollywood. i worked in e-mail mudwrestling buyer, i worked in a hells angels bar. i worked in an all-black part in between a bartender jobs they worked for three or four days as they bouncer at a movie theater, all the things that prepare you for life in congress. when i was in congress, you still have to sit to sit and listen to somebody named kennedy lecture me about what it like to be poor. i thought that was eliminating. but i wrote this book first for another reason. i wrote the book because when we were going through this impeachment exercise, i kept hearing over and over that these guys are impeaching bill clinton because they puritanical states who are trying to punish him for making a personal mistake and nothing could have been further from the church.
in fact, that is what the book is about. what really led to the impeachment of president clinton and one or all of these mistaken or false assumptions that people had out there that are just the opposite of what is really happening behind the scenes. so i got to congress after this 30 year voyage. the reason i tell you about the background is because you need to know something. when somebody comes from that background process their goal to be a congressman and works very hard out for 30 years and finally gets there, i was in no hurry to leave. i was not there to throw away a career to get even for some guy for having an affair, particularly after had this rather checkered useful background. i get to washington d.c. for what they call freshman orientation. i collected within a week and they teach us how to be a congressman. one of the great heroes in congress when i was there calls me and says he'd like to meet
with me. his name is henry hyde, chairman of the house judiciary committee. before impeachment or henry got pretty beat up, henry was one of the most beloved and respected members of the house. he really was a renaissance man, almost in the 19th century standard. he was funny, charming, and really had come. as the chairman of the house judiciary committee inviting me to see him be a formal gang murder prosecutor and a former judge, it was my hope he was going to ask me to be on the judiciary committee. when i mentioned to a few senior congressmen that he called me, that went apoplectic. bill paxton, a member from new york and the chairman of the republican congressional campaign, in charge of getting us reelected than me down and said, you have to turn that down if he offers it to you. the judiciary committee will be the death knell for you in your district. you represent hollywood movie
studios. you win with 51.1% when bob dole complement of your county by 20 points. the last thing you need, no offense to c-span, has been on tv every day fighting with ernie franken maxine waters overcomes an abortion. you need to get on the commerce committee. i once saw chairman hyde and sharon as he invited me to join the committee. for seven flattered. the answer is no. i took it on the commerce committee. i'll be with you on the votes that matter. i'm a social are good, but i don't be taken in to all the in place. at the next year he kept approaching me saying this you are just the kind of guy one on the committee. i kept rebuffing him in a nasi. for a dance of my first year he's on my achilles' heel. he said you've got most of those hollywood movie studios in your district, the entertainment industry. their lifeblood is intellectual
property. he said we have an intellectual-property set committee on the judiciary committee. that would be really good for your district tv could be back there protecting their economic interests, with net? is that it would. okay, we have no openings, but we will in a year and a half when we get the next congressman and you're my guy for the next opening. we cut the deal in any year in hospital, and the judiciary committee. a couple months after that, my beloved dear friend sonny found out, who was one of the most gracious, funny witty guys have known in my life got killed in a skiing accident. and i have to say a word about sonny. we became very fast friends. he loved it because he had kind of a similar story. i remember sitting with him late at night on the floor of the house of representatives. and it was to return in the morning and i'm trying to fall asleep. we were there first and meaningless series of votes, but
sonny couldn't get enough. to his dying day he was in the institution. i'm falling asleep next to him and he's looking around the chamber telling me, look at this. lincoln served here. and my cat, lincoln served here. and daniel webster. yeah, webster. and john f. kennedy. he starts naming these people and i'm just off for not showing enough reference. he elbows and you said you ought to be ashamed of yourself. lucky you. used to be a bartender in the sunset strip. he said i used to drink and meet track on the sunset strip. we're both here. we're members of congress. he's looking around and says, did you ever just stop and wonder how we ever got here? by this time about enough of them chattering elect an imminent bad, sonny, i look around every day and wonder how you got here.
last night i know how i got here. i went to law school. i'm still trying to figure you out. [laughter] anyway, a few months after had that conversation on january 5, 1998, sonny was killed tragically in a skiing accident. on january 9, i went to palm springs for his 3-year-old whom they had all of us as a side chapel waiting for the service to start. i am very share and who comes to sit next to me the chairman hyde who also lived sonny. he was a big, irish, very emotional sentimental guy. as we talk about sonny, he is sitting next to manchester is crying. i am watching one of my heroes cry in front of me and it's choking me up.
i'm a tough guy. i was raised by my grandfather. i am not a cry in public kind of guy. but he pulls out his handkerchief and starts crying. he's blubbery and wiping his eyes and now i'm doing the same thing. i'm telling him to stop him he can't stop him while he is crying, he says to me, you know, jim, sonny was on the judiciary committee. [laughter] i mean, like the body is being wheeled in. he tells me, sonny is on the judiciary committee. you remember we had this conversation and night to pick another guy to take his place and you are my guy. and i'm feeling this is kind of sacrilegious. i had my handkerchief and blew my nose and wiped my eyes. i said with all due respect,
this is not the time or place to talk about this, but i'll take it. [laughter] there was a problem. because i was on the commerce committee, it's one of the four exclusive committees. and member can serve on any other committees they serve in congress. he said no problem. we'll do a trade with the democrats. two days later, henry hyde sent a two-page letter to senator gingrich for other reasons he wants and the committee. i get the phone: january 20, you've been approved to go on the judiciary committee. the next morning, as i was drinking a cup of coffee, i open up the "washington post" in their days, the monica lewinsky story is all over the front page and i was off to the races. so what happened after that, within hours they get back to my office and there were 20 tv
cameras, mike booms and all these people are shoving microphones in my face, telling me you've just been put on this committee to impeach the president. you're a former prosecutor and judge. i stood there and smiled and said i'm here to write on copy mark, patents and trademarks. i'll walk you through the timetable to show you it really was just a coin events. one of the things about collecting political memorabilia came back to help me. when i got to congress, the democrats were out of power are not happy about it. one of the senior democrats was a guy named john conyers who is the senior democrat on the house judiciary committee. i spent many nights when i saw conyers said in a loud. i popped down next to him and i would want to talk about his years of service, 30, 40 years. he was the only living member still serving he served on the watergate. whenever i try to sit down and talk to john, you will be off it
wouldn't have anything to do with me. john was now the ranking democrat on the house judiciary committee. i knew he wasn't predisposed to replicants in general based on my personal experience. or because i was a collector of political memorabilia, i wanted to break the ice with him. i went home one week and a through my collection and found something and found something on the house floor just before the whole lewinsky thing happened. as he started to walk away, i said you remember about 30 years ago teddy kennedy coming to your district in detroit and doing a rally with few clicks the link to me, like how do you know that? he said that was the biggest rally in the history of my district. they said you know, do you remember seeing the yellow campaign button about this big this is the people's choice and 72, kennedy for president, conyers for vice president. he said i saw those buttons. fact, i told my staff, give me
one of those. they never did. i reached into my pocket. i bought this for 25 cents at a campaign button collector when i was a kid. i say john, i saved it for you and i. what a way. i didn't think anything of it at the time, but my first day i got on the committee with lindsey graham. another member had died as a lindsey graham and i became the new members of the committee and the impeachment is in full bloom and is their first committee hearing after the lewinsky story and the prices they are and everyone is assuming this will be firebreaks in this committee. so henry by traditioncommittee chairman and she says the new members and did an an introduction of lint the period and john conyers anoraks and as mr. chairman, will yield? all these congressmen start whispering, conyers is going to go not then scream about these guys and it's a sham and a farce. i am thinking that conyers is
going to kill us. john conyers start saying, i join with my colleague the chairman in welcoming congressman jim broke into this committee. congressman rogan, a former judge, fine man and great statesman. [laughter] he goes on and on about what a wonderful addition to the committee. all these republicans start look at me. [laughter] was this all about? i'm just sitting there and they look at me suspicious way. so i joined, i want to welcome congressman rogan to the committee. he looked at lindsey graham and bearded man in a mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. so it's a time of collect dean campaign memorabilia helps me out. i wasn't on the committee very long when newt gingrich called and said he had a homework
assignment for me. he gave it to me because he said i've been a prosecutor. he said you know, we don't know what is going to happen with this. the special prosecutor, ken starr, was working in secret. remember, judge starr before this whole lewinsky named, he he was investigating whitewater, travel gate, all of these different hash money to pay two former staffers that went to prison and ranting all these things that judge starr was investigating. and now he had to pick up this lewinsky issue as well. binker gingrich came to me and said, i need someone to draft the protocol. what do we do with a report recommending impeaching the president comes? we don't know what to do. i want you to go out and track down and interview former members of congress, democrats and republicans involved in previous investigations of a
president and find out what were and what didn't. what are the mistakes made? how do we avoid them? i settled to that as long as he let me interview you last. so he agreed to that. so i started this project could take several months tonight interviewed maybe 10 or 12 people. fred thompson from watergate because senator thompson back then was chief republican counsel on the committee. the congressmen who worked on iran-contra and all these things. of all the interviews, the one that was the most fascinating was the former chairman of the house judiciary committee, peter rhee me know. that name will be familiar because he is chairman of the house judiciary committee that led to the impeachment investigation and the president makes in. he is out of congress for 10 or 20 years by that time and he was still teaching my school one day
a week at rutgers in new jersey. he was 92. so i called him out then i said, mr. chairman, i told him what i wanted to do and he told me know. you said i support president clinton. you come up intact to me like i'm helping you, that will give the impression that i am somehow behind this so i'm okay and i won't let that happen. and he arranges for five months in congress. but i was pretty bold. he said mr. chairman, that is not an acceptable answer. he spent 40 years as a member of this house. use of this house. i've been assigned a job on behalf of the house of representatives to make sure we track a protocol that is fair and you are a person with unique knowledge and you have to give me her time. so i am going to fly up there you have to meet with me. peter rodino said fine, you can have one half-hour and that's all you get. so i flew out to new jersey to go see him.
i had her deputy chief counsel with me in a chief investigator, dave schippers and we told her councilman, you guys wait outside. i'm going to go when and see if i can get him to loosen up for me. if i can't, i have an ace in the hole that i will pull and see if that works. i'm going to see chairman rudy know who was 92, beatty was sharp as a tack. he had with him a witness who was another law professor. he had a big beard and long hair birkenstocks and a turtleneck and love beads. i don't know. he was just sitting there. not friendly. chairman rudy know shut my hand, signal to the other guy, the witness to turn on a tape recorder and cities may witness. you have 30 minutes.
the time is now begun. for 28 and a half minutes he launched into a lecture. it was a soliloquy talking about fairness and how this is terrible. he wasn't there to answer questions. he was there to give me a lecture. he said now i will hear from you. i started telling him, i'm here to do the right thing. this has to be fair. thank you amir tenet said. thank you for coming. i thought okay, it's time to put the atomic bomb. i shook hands and said, mr. chairman, i want to thank you for keeping two promises to me. promise them that when you told me he'd give me a half-hour of your time and you did that. promise never to his face. he reached in my coat pocket and handed him a piece of paper. when i was 17, i need my first trip to washington d.c. into the theater after watergate. i thought as long as i'm going
to washington, i have to meet these movers and shakers who can give me advice. so i sent him coming to washington and i went to meet with you. like everybody back there, most of them said, bye. the one guy couldn't meet with was peter rodino. he wrote a very nice letter that said i'm going to be out of town the week you're back here. however, i will give you a rain check. [laughter] i handed him the letter and said i want to thank you for keeping your promise and given me the rain check. rudy know that at the letter and the opinion says something like you are this kid? yes, sir. points to the other guy. get out. take a tape recorder with you. have a couple of friends, can i bring them? bring them in. we sat there for three and a half hours. he tacked about watergate, everything he had seen and give
me recommendations that i brought back to speaker gingrich. speaker gingrich adopted the recommendations. in fact, we called them to regain routine of rules and those are the ones put into play. in fact as a postscript to that, he wanted me to come to his house for dinner later. he said, and overcome all make spaghetti. i said i can't make it. i have to get that person does. but i'll give you the rain check. the next time i come up, i'll come to see you. i didn't get back up for another six or seven years. i was invited to give a speech tonight that is almost 100. he's not going to remember me. but it did make a promise. so i called them. he remembered me, asking how my wife and kids are doing. i said love to take you to dinner. he said we can't do it. i'm just recovering from major surgery and i don't think i can make it.
i said i'll bring dinner. as we started talking to me as started cracking. he said i served 40 years in congress. i was on the cover of "time" magazine, recognized around the world. when you leave that place, nobody remembers you. nobody cares. i'm trying to recover from major surgery and not one of my colleagues is called to say how you are doing. the only guy that calls this the guy in the wrong party u.k. in 20 years years after i left. his voice started breaking. i said mr. chairman, what you went to set a protocol on the standard 25 years later when another president and republican congress is doing it, we adapted your rules. that became the template that we use. that's not a bad legacy for a candidate kid from new jersey. he perked up and said they think actually we can go out to dinner. , no further.
a couple days later, chairman rodino passed away at the age of 96. i was always very grateful to him for taking that time. i want to leave time for questions and assess hundreds if not thousands of vignettes. the president obviously had that getting impeached a week over to the senate and to say we run wanted when we get there would be a euphemism. it was a bipartisan lack of appreciation for our presence. we were told very early on -- in fact, the republican mayor told ahead of kerry cute pictures of this guy standing over a dead woman with a smoking gun in your hand. america did not want him and east. he jumped off a cliff. pay a 55 republican senators. 75 are up in tough races. we are protecting our maturity. where the adults coming are the children. we don't care if it's about
forgery, obstruction of justice, we are taking care of business. the night before we started the senate trial, what i referred to as a trial, although it really wasn't a child. it was more of a sham. lott asked a group of us to nuke a bipartisan group of senators. henry hyde called me and said what you do this meeting with me in a couple of their fellows? we sat -- we were supposed to meet in the conference room. one said will be more comfortable on this committee hearing room. elitists down the hallway in the senators teak seat way appear in the committee and they have a fair way down below them severing the service packs and is and now we were missing were the lions. we spent the next two or three hours listening to then say we don't care. you shouldn't have brought this year. we are going to kill this case and you are going to lose a day.
everyone is talking of blowing us off. henry would it be like say something. so i said, senators, tomorrow for the second time in american history, the chief justice of the united states is going to leave his court, is going to come into your chamber and is going to administer an oath to 100 united states senators to do impartial justice. tomorrow when the chief gives you that oath, and 20,000 courthouses around the country, judges are going to be administering the exact same oath to untold thousands of jurors. if they can't take the oath and if they won't take the oath, they can sit as jurors. when i think about tomorrow, how many single moms working at starbucks, how many roofers come the people in gas stations, how
many unemployed people who would read it be somewhere else and decent enough to take that oath and take that oath seriously. as an american citizen, i have to believe that when 100 members of the greatest liberties body on the face of the planet take that oath, and there's going to be the same degree of seriousness the nice features take my whole professional life. and there is a silence in the room and the six senators that at each other and looked at me and then they laughed at me. and that was a welcome to the united states senate. we went to the trial. we knew it was a losing proposition . why mpg president when 75% of the american people are opposed to it? if you think about it now and more historical terms, i think it is incredibly interesting
dynamic because you had in this window. politicians who are genetically hardwired not do anything unpopular, not to do things that route the boat. not to make the voters angry at them. suddenly went from a position of wanting to protect themselves, to realizing there was an important principle of law that required nothing to do with the president personally. it's a fascinating story and this book chronicles the day today, how slowly this all changed. how that dynamic changed. and the ultimate question is, why do it? this is why. why did i get that may seem incongruous? it took me 30 years to get
there. why was i willing to cast a vote and participate in something that i knew from the start was the loser. this is why. when the founders wrote the constitution, they say the president can be removed for high crimes and misdemeanors, that they never defined what is a high crime and misdemeanor. so where do we get the definition? the definition comes from every single impeachment that the house faces. we had 17 or 18 of them. they think we had 17 benetton president clinton came before us. mostly federal judges. a federal judge discharges of enron, there's a vote whether to impeach him and that becomes the standard, the precedent of what is there is not an impeachable offense. the evidence is not even controverted anymore. in fact, you will recall that he
cut a plea bargain. maybe you don't recall because the press doesn't talk about it. undersized and office, after denying an attacking us daily to avoid being federally prosecuted as i say enough is coming he sang the plea for an and admitted he lied under routson admitted to things we charge them with. if we had not voted to impeach president clinton, we would have set the standard for every super president, that perjury, subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice. and maybe terrible, needy tacky, maybe something you can prosecute later, but it is not a removable offense. my friends, let me tell you, democrat, republican, independent. you do not want to live in a country where the president feels they can commit perjury or obstruct justice and not think
that if anything more than a one-way exit ticket from the white house. and i will always be the standard based upon the clinton precedent as long as members of congress have the spine to stand up to them. can i get my closing arguments, i told the senators this is not personal. in fact, i always had a soft spot for him. he was always very charming. i first met him in college and he was the attorney general of arkansas. this is a bigger issue and i know baby in a part of this, i am not coming back. i said i'm going to be defeated in the next campaign and i was. i have to tell you a quick story about my closing argument because it involves all of you here. i just did what i thought would be the most important thing i could say to my great grandkids as to why it was part of this losing proposition . at the very last minute, before he spoke, chief justice rink
waste took a brief recess. he offended me, me mad. because i'm irish and start crossing out my nine m. oath his speech that i want to give anyone on the senate floor and window for the most part. i spent months saying why did i do that? wanted to stay something. my staff, some of whom are here cut so fed up with the jamaican saying that they printed it is beautiful per share, which is essentially the last closing argument that congress never again. they made up 5000 of these insanity here. quit complaining. you've been congress for a long time. wherever you go you can pass these things out and people would know what you want to say. when you are none of this site doesn't come a long makeup typhus and more. the problem is not long after that i was defeated for reelection. i came up with 4950 of these
things in the back of my car. those of you get a book tonight or order one from the foundation online not only will get a signed book, you will be the proud possessor of what i intended to save impeachment trial. i want to thank all of you for coming and i just appreciate your being here and i hope you enjoy the book. there will be a lot of stories in there at equal curl your hair. thank you, sandy. >> thank you. [applause] the congressman has agreed to answer some questions, so i will come to you with this microphone and ask you to stand if anybody has any. do i see any? somebody over here. let's see. raise your hand. good, there you are. i am going to hand it to you. >> you probably don't remember me, but this is a thing that i
will always err. there was a lawsuit against kerry ray ford and placentia. i won the first case and the thing they said is that they wouldn't be in the hearing today is my husband had not expired. so anyway, i won that case and they disagreed with it. so i called kerry ray ford to see how they wanted to make a note to me, that they could pay it to the court. the court could indeed hate me. they said, we will see you in court. luckily, you are my judges that second hearing. [laughter] >> how did i do? >> you did great.
>> that's i need to hear, man. >> i was 79 years old from yorba linda, a widow. they thought, that woman doesn't know anything. we will scare her. she won't show up in court a second time. as soon as you came in, took the bench. maybe you don't remember, but i said i remember you. my husband and i respect you from the hearing of clinton. i just changed my party. [laughter] >> well -- i'm not -- [applause] i guess the lesson from that, ladies and gentlemen, that if your future litigant in my courtroom, you know how to start. thank you, ma'am. >> i'm not sure what the question was, but --
[inaudible] >> the question is, have they ever talked to the president and mrs. clinton. well, my wife and i encountered mrs. clinton a year after impeachment, but that's a story for a different boat. president clinton and i have to both of us left washington for a period of a few years had a very private, very cordial correspondence and that ended during mrs. clinton's campaign because a reporter called and said they hear u2 write back and forth. that's true. he said they could see the notes and he said you can't see them. somebody in mrs. clinton's campaign started vehemently denying. he would never write to him in those words. i think somebody come in pairs
or he and i were corresponding. i have heard from incense, but there was a period were two old warriors or at lease in touch. i asked newt gingrich about it once and he told me he'll call me at 2:00 in the morning and want to talk about old times. i think you slake me. he misses the war. president clinton, if you are listening, feel to write an avalanche here. i hope you didn't hate the book too much. >> i want to ask a question. you've been in the legislative ranch. you've been in the executive branch. you've been in judiciary with your new appointments. if you were advising a young person who wanted to go into public service, where would you scare them out of your experience in all the branches? >> i would give them the same advice that attorney general of arkansas, bill clinton gave me
in 1978 when i met him. i was a young democrat come back for a conference. [laughter] [inaudible] [laughter] >> it's bill clinton. >> she knows how to make a germanic exit, doesn't she? so i meet bill clinton and i'm in college applying to law school. i walked up and said i know yours already. i read about shooting magazine. i've got the same background. i want to go into politics. bill clinton took about 15 minutes or so of his time. i wasn't even a constituent. he told me, go to law school. if you're going to be involved in the process in any way, it
involves riding along. who better to know about the legal process employer. i practical perspective you have something to fall back on if you're a political desires don't fall through. one of the great ironies of that meeting is that it was 20 years, not just to the very day, but to almost an hour that i was sitting in the house judiciary committee casting a vote on articles against president clinton. 20 years later a pass intercepted in a way that neither of us could ever imagine. the advice he gave me was first appreciated, second never forgotten and prove to be very good advice. [applause]
famine in the two regions of somalia was not made lightly and truly reflect the dire conditions of the people in somalia. based on nutrition and mortality surveys, data verified at the cdc and on that basis, we estimate in the last 90 days, 29,000 smalley children have died. this is nearly 4% of the children in southern amalia. our fear and the feared the international community and in the horn of africa is those conditions will spread to encompass the entire beat regions of southern somalia. the next dream there's the timbre, october. even if they are good, we could bear with us to another wave of mortality in the south due to waterborne diseases. >> in his book, "pinched," don peck looks at social change
brought on by the current recession and compares it to past economic downturns. he recently spoke at the politics & prose books are in washington d.c. this is an hour. [inaudible conversations] >> okay, good evening. we will get started. welcome to politics & prose bookstore. i am mike giarratano. a schedule events here and i welcome you this evening on behalf of art owners who we are excited to have on board here and on behalf of the booksellers. so welcome to politics & prose and thank you for being here for supporting the spokes tour comes supporting our event series. if you are new here to the bookstore outside of august and
december, we do events every night. so you can follow us. our events include classes in both groups. you can follow us on facebook, twitter, weekly e-mail, or website. it is probably a good time to tell you to silence your phone's engadget this evening. tonight we welcome on don peck to politics & prose to discuss his new book "pinched," how the great recession as narrator features and what we can do about it. john lives in washington d.c. and it's always a pleasure for us to welcome a local author here, especially for a debut. so we welcome don peck. we also welcome the c-span booktv audience and thank them for joining us. the format tonight is that don will speak at this podium for
about 20, 25, 30 minutes. he will present the boat, tell us why he wrote it and then open up to the second half of the hour to you for questions. what we ask is that you get their audience microphone here in the center i hope. it's the one microphone would have this evening. it can be difficult getting there with the crowd decides. but do keep the talk out of both for those here. we will field questions from the microphone. we do encourage your question in input after the q&a, don will sign books at this table. his books are for sale in the front of the store. so that is how it will go. but again, we just really want to again welcome you and they thank you for being here and 479. don is a national award-winning writer and features editor at the atlantic where he covers the economy and american society.
actually, the september issue of the atlantic which is available here for sale features a cover story by don, can the middle class he saved? it is an essay developed from this book, from sub 10. i want to see thank you for their health promoting this event ends with porting don and his work at this particular event. so "pinched" is about the enduring impact the great recession will have an american life, how economic, societal and cultural norms have been deeply impacted and subsequently your beat and will continue to be altered, transform. work environments, family dynamics and personal identities have been turned on their heads and likely to stay that way. the scars of the past several years, in other words, we mean it in your distant future. meanwhile the chasm between the wealthy elites and the rest winans in the concentration of
wild threatens to further hollow middle class. cities and communities suffer from the same risk. others are being shattered. our national identity is once again shifting. with historical context by comparing this recession with collapses of the year past, don reignites the call for reinvention, and public action. thank you for joining us than it is a pleasure to welcome to politics & prose to discuss this both, don peck. [applause] >> that's a great introduction. if you like we should just take questions after that. as of about 10 minutes away from politics & prose than i've been to countless book talks and this is my first book and first-time undecided the microphone. it's mildly surreal, but i will do my best. thank you for coming. i want to talk about how this book came about. i am a features editor at the up
and taken a spent a lot of my time trying to find big stories are cover stories. if you know the "atlantic" at all, we were a very long stories. they take a long time to report. they are deeply reported in take a while to incubate. one of the challenges and pleasures is trying to look for pieces that won't appear for six or nine months, that will feel deeply consider, but also timely and relevant. i cover the economy among other things. so when we hand the initial financial crash in 2008, you know, it just wasn't even possible to predict what the next nine months would look like. as we remember, we couldn't even predict next week. but by the time to does nine -- spring of 2009 arrived, after t.a.r.p. and the first stimulus,
the market was rebounding. i think all of us, certainly i did read a site of relief. i was trying to think to stories to the fall and winter and so i was talking quite a lot to labor economists and economic historians and students in other major crashes. what i found was really all of them were sounding the same note. they were saying we were prematurely breathing a sigh of relief. they were saying that actually, where things have been fluid, the next six months, nine months, 12 month, 24 months more really great to quite prepared to vote. the labor market was likely to recover incredibly slowly. the economy was likely to take years to mend. and when i started reading histories of the other long slumps, deeper into american history and talking to
sociologists, it became apparent that the societies stew and long periods like this one, they change and many, many profound ways. and so, i decided rather than assigning pieces i wanted to start writing about nonanonymous, they struck me as important and important to try to identify as quickly as possible for people so we could understand and think more intelligently about recovery. two years later after to cover stories and now a book, i am sorry to say that in my opinion, the next year or two or more are still quite predictable, at least if we don't significantly shift our public actions, our public policies, we are not, in my opinion, yet near the end of this. and if we stay in such a period of weeks is for another two or three years, i think will begin
to see the social changes that we can see now begin to become much, much more pronounced. so history. i look in some detail at the 1970s, an 1830s, 1890s, different. and in some way recall around. i detail how they've changed within them and how we got the inlet and unfold. it's quite a lot of reporting from around the country and different people come to different places different classes because this recession and the recovery has been felt very, very differently in different parts of the country by different people in the tank that holds again important lessons for us and thinking about how to recover. in part it is a generational
study. one thing that is clear from past ones is that up-and-coming generations change profoundly and periods like this one. i spend a lot of time among the millennial generation and the people behind them talking to them about how they were changing how they felt their life prospects are changing, their political pleas for changing and so on. so overall, it's kind of an attempt to assess how this. very broadly is changing the places we live, the work we do, family ties. our politics and for some of us, even who we are. so that is kind of put the books that got to do. in addition and importantly, it sets out to begin to make recommendations about how we can recover faster and stay in the u.s. economy up more strongly
for the future. so that's a lot of things and i can't talk about all of them tonight. we can't have her and q&a. what i'd like to do is try and distill things to remain messages from the book with a few illustrations and then we will just take some questions. so kind to three messages from the boat. one is that periods like this one, slumps that are deep and long to have enduring consequences. we think about recessions is temporary. jobs go away, go back a period deeper sessions to leave society, it found ways permanently changed. not entirely for the worse, but substantially. they change generations come and change communities, change families in ways that are not quickly or easily reverse.
said because of that, because many of the changes we are now beginning to experience, many of the most significant consequences of the great recession are still ahead of us. the second main message from the book is, this recession is also kind of temporarily accelerated in very deep economic forces that were already transforming our society, most significantly the hollering at the middle class. in that sense, in some ways it is given us a preview of where our society is heading anyway and who is leaving behind. understanding that is critical to think about not just how we can bring unemployment down, but build a stronger society in decades to come. my final message is that we can recover faster. i think we see a disturbing amount of fatalism right now among many members of media and many members of congress and we should not be fatalistic about
this. we do face a long slog, but there's a lot we can do to recover faster. we just aren't doing it. to remain messages. let me go back to reprobate detail. first, on the enduring consequences of periods like this one, life changes in countless and surprising ways they did during slumps, people sleep more, it ate less, spend more time at home. they drive less and they drive more slowly, which actually tends to reduce traffic fatalities in overall mortality, some things happened in this recession. scurries famously linked and in lady godhead notwithstanding, pop songs become more earnest, more complex, more romantic and less. people become more personally
conservative. many of the things they just talked about are federal. they go away as soon as congress returns in the economy recovers. deep slumps leave more injury marks on her family's, communities, places we live. i talk about all of that in the book. i talk a lot about how the suburbs and and some of the former middle-class meccas of the u.s., las vegas, phoenix, tampa are changing her family and permanently in the wake of this recession. and the focus here at home lineal searching team. this is one of the most important kind of enduring changes that we are already seeing and will continue to see. when i began reporting for the magazine story that led to "pinched," i really expected that young people would bear some of the lightest cars for this recession. they are young, don't have a lot
of personal responsibilities, so a few bad years are a few bad years. but in fact, when you look at history, when you look at ample scholarly research done on this subject, it is just the opposite. the first few years in the job market are crucial to establishing a career tax and life teresa of young people. people who struggle, cohorts and generations to struggle early because of a bad economy, who gets stuck in bad jobs or who can't find work at all never fully recover. they not only stirred up behind, but according to good research idl economist, lisa kohn, 10, 20, 30 years later they have not had to which they would then if they came out and worked on a full-time. they get stuck in low prestige
jobs and professions and they cling more tightly to their jobs. they don't switch jobs as often, which is really how one increases earnings particularly early in one career. about two thirds of lifetime income growth usually occurs in the first 10 years. so is this recession stretches, three, former years, a lot of people are losing the opportunity and acquiring a stigma of underachievement that's going to be really difficult to shed. now, those economic conditions and that kind of lifetime economic problem is made complex particularly when thinking about the millennial generation. on the eve of the recession, it was arguably the most audacious in american history, the highest self-esteem, higher material expectations than any other generation at a similar